Annual Review of Psychology Volume 69: Language, Gender, and Replication

Browse the Annual Review of Psychology Volume 69 table of contents.

ps69-langWhile I’m used to thinking about language as a way of gauging cognitive development “Linking Language and Cognition in Infancy” by Perszyk and Waxman had me thinking about the ways language influences cognition. For instance:

…more recent developmental evidence reveals that, even before infants begin to speak, words invite them to form categories. The evidence for this claim comes from a robust behavioral paradigm, elegant in its simplicity. It is essentially an object categorization task with two phases. During the familiarization phase, infants view a series of discriminably different objects (e.g., dog, horse, duck) from a given object category (e.g., animal). Next, during the test phase, infants view two new objects—one a member of the now-familiar category (e.g., a cat) and the other a member of an entirely different category (e.g., an apple). The logic of this paradigm is straightforward: If infants detect the category-based commonalities among the familiarization objects, then they should distinguish the novel test image from the familiar; if they fail to detect these commonalities, then they should perform at chance levels ….The evidence reveals that, by 12 months of age, even before they produce more than a few words on their own, infants have established a principled link between object naming and object categorization.

I found  “Gender Stereotypes” by Ellemers  quite an interesting read.  I particularly responded to the summation in the section “How We Can Benefit From This Knowledge”:

Gender stereotypes prevent women and men from equally sharing the care for children and family members and from equally benefiting from the interpersonal connections made through these activities. Gender stereotypes prevent women with successful careers from finding a romantic partner and men without employment from feeling valued. They cause us to underestimate the emotional burden of care functions for women and the physical burden of strenuous labor for men. This is not only costly for the individuals ps69-genderinvolved but also for society, as it impacts the psychological and physical well-being of individuals, the resilience of families, and the long-term availability and contributions of workers in the labor market. We are only human and have to accept that we are subject to stereotypical thinking and gendered expectations. Accepting our fallibility in this way, rather than denying that gender stereotypes play a role while implicitly reproducing them, makes it easier to correct for any undesired outcomes that may result.

Shrout and Rodgers’ article “ Psychology, Science, and Knowledge Construction: Broadening Perspectives from the Replication Crisis” is a good overview of the history of evaluating results, the problems with current practices, and steps that have been taken to verify findings.  I was particularly interested in how the changes in research procedure have affected scientists:

As calls have been made to change the way science is conducted in psychology by preregistering designs and analyses and increasing sample sizes, some authors have noted what might be called collateral damage. The three types of damage that have been identified are (a) slowing and ultimate reduction of new findings and phenomena, (b) penalizing different subfields with the imposition of one-size-fits-all norms, and (c) discouraging young scientists from staying in the field because of the higher bar for publication and professional advancement.

The Annual Review of Psychology, Volume 68

Suzanne K. Moses is Annual Reviews’ Senior Electronic Content Coordinator. For 15+ years, Suzanne has played a central role in the publication of Annual Reviews’ online articles. Not a single page is posted online without first being proofed and quality checked by Suzanne.

For years now, Suzanne has sent a company-wide email to announce the publication of each new volume. These emails provide insight into the variety, depth, and quality of the articles. Her messages are thoughtful, discerning, playful, and deeply personal. They remind us all of the beauty and wonders of science; all the reasons we do what we do.

We’ve now asked Suzanne to share her volume announcements with our readers. We hope you enjoy this new series of posts!

Anna Rascouët-Paz
Online Media Editor

View the full table of contents for Annual Review of Psychology, Volume 68.

Like many, I grew up thinking that memories were a perfect record of what happened in my life. Discovering that we rewrite our own memories all the time was a very strange moment for me. I’ve come to believe that memory is a slippery and somewhat dangerous thing; we have to trust our own minds, but we also need to recognize that those same minds have a vested interest in protecting themselves. The autobiography of Elizabeth Loftus, “Eavesdropping on Memory,” is a fantastic inside look at studying memory. It is a honest and open look at her thoughts, and it feels intensely personal. It isn’t often that an autobiography moves directly onto my personal top ten list upon first reading—but this one did. It’s impossible to skim, and I found it difficult to pull a single quote that captures the writing style for you.

I soon discovered I wasn’t particularly interested in mathematical psychology, but I never missed the required Friday seminar sessions where faculty and fellow graduate students discussed their research findings, even though my mind was elsewhere. I would often sit in the back and write letters to my relatives. Sometimes I actually got some sewing done (e.g., hemming skirts that needed to be shortened) to the sound of voices discussing the latest developments in mathematical learning theory.

I also enjoyed Metcalfe’s “Learning from Errors” because I find the idea that being willing to experiment and make mistakes leads to better learning and understanding overall is rather uplifting. One aspect of this I particularly found interesting was regarding immediate versus delayed feedback about errors:

The study found that college students performed equally well in the immediate and delayed feedback conditions, whereas children in grades 3 to 5 did better when the feedback was delayed. Interestingly, Kulik & Kulik (1988) noted that whether delayed or immediate feedback produced better results differed between studies conducted in the classroom and those in the laboratory. Lab studies tended to show that delayed feedback was better, whereas classroom studies favored immediate feedback. They concluded, however, that the real difference between these studies was whether the learners paid attention to the feedback. Students in the classroom are highly engaged in knowing the answers to questions right after taking a test.

ps680627-f1Finally, I want to point out that this volume of the Annual Review of Psychology has something for everyone and an article for nearly every situation. Have you ever had the impulse to really analyze your close relationships? Let me suggest Finkel’s article “The Psychology of Close Relationships: Fourteen Core Principles.” You might learn new and exciting things about how relationships are constructed.

Or have you ever felt uncomfortable interacting with a robot? Been caught treating your furby as a living pet? Then you may want to look at Broadbent’s “Interactions With Robots: The Truths We Reveal About Ourselves.” It’s interesting to flip the usual lens and ask what these interactions say about us.

Fighting the Tobacco Epidemic

On November 1, France launched “Moi(s) sans tabac” (“month/me without tobacco”), the very first national campaign of its kind, which will use all existing social media and digital tools to encourage smokers to quit. Inspired by the UK’s “Stoptober” campaign, which started in 2012, it sets the goal of stopping for the entire month of November, 30 days without smoking, which multiply the chances of quitting by five.

9786177825_73ed90e5fb_zUsers can sign up online to join the community and get personalized advice; call a phone number where they can talk to smoking cessation specialists; or download an application that can track their progress, cheer them on, and calculate their savings. On November 1, over 130,000 smokers had signed up.

It is estimated that tobacco is as addictive as heroin, with approximately 60% of those who try it becoming addicted. Of regular smokers, experts calculate that about half will die of smoke-related consequences. In France, there are around 73,000 smoke-related deaths each year. In 2003, a government report found that France’s male population had the highest level of cancer-related deaths, more than any country in the European Union, caused directly by cigarette use.

How did this tobacco epidemic begin? What are some environmental factors that play into tobacco addiction? What are some intervention that have been effective in helping smokers quit?

Read more about tobacco and health here:

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